The Pittsburgh Pirates have been hanging tough in the National League Central thus far, but with a host of talented teams in the division, they need to keep playing well to avoid falling out of the race. Pittsburgh has a tough matchup on Saturday when it faces off against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Pirates do get this game at home, which is a big boost, but Los Angeles enters with the best record in the National League. The Dodgers are clearly a playoff team and Pittsburgh needs to consistently win games like this over the next few months to be in that conversation as well in MLB betting lines.
This MLB game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates will be held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 25th, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on FOX.
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The Dodgers have been fantastic this season with an overall record of 32-17, several wins ahead of their closest challengers in the National League. Los Angeles has been dominant at home but only 13-11 on the road, which is why the Pirates should feel like they can still win this matchup. The Dodgers have picked up victories in seven of their past 10 games.
The Pirates have a mark of 24-21 on the year, which is within shouting distance of the Cubs in the N.L. Central. However, Pittsburgh has a negative run-differential of 44, which does not bode well moving forward. The Pirates are only 9-10 at home on the season and must improve on that to stay in the playoff conversation.
The Dodgers are scheduled to send Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound. The veteran left-hander has been dominant this season with a 6-1 record and a 1.52 ERA. Ryu has a microscopic WHIP of 0.74 and is on a blazing hot streak of late, allowing no runs in 24 innings pitched over his past three starts. The Pirates will have their work cut out for them against one of the early favorites for the Cy Young in the N.L.
The Pirates are projected to counter with right-hander Joe Musgrove. He is 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA this season. Musgrove has a really impressive WHIP of 1.07 and is allowing opposing batters to hit only .206 against him this season. Musgrove is also throwing well of late, giving up only three runs combined over 13.1 innings in his last two starts, both of which were wins.
.404. That’s the batting average for Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger, who is off to the best start of any player in the major leagues. The 23-year-old burst onto the scene a couple years ago and now is making his argument as the most talented player in the National League.
Bellinger has 17 home runs and 44 RBIs on the season as he is far from just a slap-ball hitter. His OPS of 1.271 is unreal and the Pirates will need to do everything in their power to keep him contained in this matchup.
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Ryu isn’t generally spoken about among the best pitchers in the National League, but his numbers this year are phenomenal. The Pirates don’t have an offense that is particularly overwhelming, and they could struggle against him.
Los Angeles is a much more balanced team and it should get a nice combination of hitting and pitching in this one to pick up the road win in MLB odds.
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
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